Schneck Medical Center recently was recognized by the Immunization Action Coalition and the Indiana State Health Department for achieving one of the highest reported rates in the state for its work to protect newborns from the hepatitis B virus infection.
“Newborns can contract hepatitis B shortly after birth,” said Chasity Johnson, director of women and children at Schneck. “The birth dose of the hepatitis B vaccine is critical to safeguarding all infants from the viral infection which can lead to chronic liver disease.”
Schneck is the newest entry into coalition’s birth dose honor roll which recognizes hospitals and birthing centers that have attained high coverage levels for administering the hepatitis B vaccine at birth, according to a news release from the Seymour hospital.
Schneck immunized 96 percent of babies over the past year and took additional steps to prevent perinatal transmission of hepatitis B.
The national standard of care to prevent hepatitis B virus infection in babies is to administer hepatitis B vaccine to all newborns before they leave the hospital or birthing center.
This standard is being adopted by centers of health care nationwide as a safety net to protect newborns from a wide range of medical errors that lead to babies being unprotected from perinatal hepatitis B infection.
“Hospitals and birthing centers have a responsibility to protect babies from life-threatening hepatitis B infection,” said Dr. Deborah Wexler, who is executive director and founder of coalition.
“Schneck’s commitment to the best practice of hepatitis B vaccination at birth has shown them to be a leader in preventing the transmission of the hepatitis B virus,” she said.